Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Your second example is problematical. In the "good old days" before the insurance companies clamped down on every single medical expense and tracked physician working hours more closely than Mickey Dee's does it's hamburger flippers, the rich subsidized the poor. It was common practise in the medical industry to charge according to ability to pay, and the doctors made everything even out.

In some situations it still works that way. The city hospital in Colorado Springs is required by its charter to serve everybody who lives in town, so if you don't have insurance you still get medical care. And it's not just emergency room visits, either; it includes regular office visits. It's subsidized by a combination of taxes and squeezing the insurance companies, and there's a lot of bickering about how the funding should work. But the fact is that here in our conservative paradise we have socialized medicine for the needy--and for our large active duty and retired service families, also...

by asdf on Mon Jul 28th, 2008 at 08:10:04 PM EST

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